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Reebok used 'very fit woman' in buttock-related deception

Sporting gear group agrees $25m settlement over arse-exercising shoe claims

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Reebok has to fork over $25m to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for talking out its arse about its butt-toning footwear.

The FTC decided that Reebok had falsely claimed its EasyTone walking shoes and flip-flops and its RunTone running shoes could fight the flab on leg and buttock muscles.

“The FTC wants national advertisers to understand that they must exercise some responsibility and ensure that their claims for fitness gear are supported by sound science,” David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection actually said in a canned statement, proving the US government does have a sense of humour.

According to the FTC complaint, Reebok had made unsupported claims that walking and running in its Tone shoes could strengthen key leg and bottom muscles.

"One television ad featured a very fit woman explaining to an audience the benefits of Reebok EasyTone toning shoes," the FTC said.

"She picks up a shoe from a display and points to a chart showing the muscles that benefit from use of the shoes, while a video camera continues to focus on her buttocks.  She says the shoes are proven to strengthen hamstrings and calves by up to 11 per cent, and that they tone the buttocks 'up to 28 per cent more than regular sneakers, just by walking'," the outraged commission added.

(Should you wish to see this terrible example of overhyped advertising, purely to join the FTC in its outrage of course, the commission has a link to it on its website.)

The $25m settlement will be available for customer refunds, whether directly from the FTC or through a "court-approved class action lawsuit". ®

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